Matthew Stafford is reportedly “maniacal” about returning from the back injury that’s sidelined him for four games and counting, but until then, the Detroit Lions are set to ride with undrafted rookie David Blough at quarterback.
The team announced Saturday it has placed Jeff Driskel, Stafford’s initial replacement, on season-ending injured reserve with a lingering hamstring issue. And with Stafford still recovering from a fracture that ESPN said prompted Detroit to consider putting him on IR, it’s a safe bet that Blough, who made his NFL debut on Thanksgiving with a last-minute start against the Chicago Bears, will get more time under center. Now that the Lions have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, that’s even more likely.
Signed in September to back up Stafford, Driskel produced mixed results while going 0-3 as the Lions’ fill-in QB, leading Detroit to within one score of the Bears in Week 10, then posting a 109.3 passer rating against the Dallas Cowboys before throwing three interceptions in a loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 12.
Undrafted out of Purdue this year, Blough was about equally as effective against Chicago in Week 13, finishing with 280 yards, two touchdowns and one pick in the Lions’ 24-20 loss, throwing a 75-yard score to Kenny Golladay on his first official attempt. He originally joined Detroit via trade with the Cleveland Browns ahead of final roster cut-downs when the Lions swapped seventh-round picks to land him as a third-stringer.
He’ll likely get his second career start when the Lions return on Dec. 8 for a 1 p.m. Eastern showdown with the rival Minnesota Vikings (8-3).